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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reason to homeschool #6,478

At BoingBoing:  Candy-ass vice-principal calls the bomb squad over an 11-year-old's science project, recommends counselling for the student.

"A San Diego school vice-principal saw an 11-year-old's home science project (a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics), decided it was a bomb, wet himself, put the school on lockdown, had the bomb-squad come out to destroy X-ray the student's invention and search his parents' home, and then magnanimously decided not to discipline the kid (though he did recommend that the child and his parents get counselling to help them overcome their anti-social science behavior)."

Fort Hood Report 'Gutless and Shameful'

NY Post: "Rarely in the course of human events has a report issued by any government agency been so cowardly and delusional. It's so inept, it doesn't even rise to cover-up level.

Hasan was a protected-species minority. Under the PC tyranny of today's armed services, no non-minority officer was going to take him on.

This is a military that imposes rules of engagement that protect our enemies and kill our own troops and that court-martials heroic SEALs to appease a terrorist."

via JWF.

History in a hurry: the first book about Climategate is published

Details at Watts Up With That?

Deal of the day

32% off Space Shuttles at NASA.

"Massachusetts Miracle" video goes viral as Brown surges in Senate race

Here's the video.  I don't know that 75K viewers makes it viral, but it's certainly well made. 

via Washington Examiner.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Men Like Smell Of Ovulating Women

Why some women remain single

Why some women remain single.

The Last Decade Of Liberalism In 40 Quotes


Heh - I guess they should have met in the basement

The floor of a Weight Watchers clinic in Sweden collapsed beneath a group of 20 members who were gathered for a meeting.

Harsh punishment.

Deputy head struck off for being drunk.

Japanese Navy, pre-WWII and present

TheDonovan has a post, From Iron Will To Pooftery, which includes video from the pre-WWII Japanese contrasted to a current Navy recruitment video.

Is there a word that means both hilarious and depressing at the same time?

Krauthammer - One Year Out: The Fall

"The health-care drive is the most important reason Obama has sunk to 46 percent. But this reflects something larger. In the end, what matters is not the persona but the agenda. In a country where politics is fought between the 40-yard lines, Obama has insisted on pushing hard for the 30."

Interestingly enough, my daughter and I had a conversation this morning using this same football field analogy, although we concluded that The One is pushing for the 20 yard line, not the 30 as suggested by CK.

Jonah Goldberg on the Coakley - Brown race

Read the whole thing.

America's Top 100 conservatives 40 - 21

Here's the latest list - numbers 20 - 1.

Links to numbers 100 - 81, 80 - 61, 60 - 41, 40 - 21.

Dr. Zero - Welcome to Subsidy Nation

"Welcome to Subsidy Nation, the midway point between a free-market democracy and a total command economy. The middle class has grown restless over endlessly rising tax rates, so the current statist strategy of choice involves using mandates on business, regulatory burdens, and special exemptions to pay off their favored constituencies. It’s not a new idea, but it’s exploded during the first year of this administration, and if the ObamaCare monstrosity is signed into law, it will become the fundamental organizing principle of our culture and economy."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

If Star Wars were made in France

Video - If Star Wars were made in France.

America's Top 100 conservatives 40 - 21

Here's the latest list - numbers 40 - 21.

Includes Breitbart and Lowry.

Links to numbers 100 - 81, 80 - 61, 60 - 41.

Thursday stuff

Dr. Zero - Our Duty To Mankind

Make no mistake: it is wealth that feeds the hungry, cures the sick, and mends the broken. Capitalism is the practical expression of freedom, and wealth allows the tangible expression of compassion."

"If we allow selfish politicians to mortgage the future, to feed their hunger for power, we’re doing more than just saddling our children with a mountain of debt. We’re draining the strength they will need to help the victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, and famines to come. We’re sentencing them to watch the disasters of the future in helpless frustration. We are not just mortgaging their comforts… we’re devouring the economic bone and muscle they need to fulfill the destiny that was left for them by the heroes of our past, and telling them they can’t be heroes, because we weren’t strong and proud enough to be free.

Thank God we still have the wealth and will to help the people of Haiti today. If we let the architects of the socialist state build a hospice where we can die quietly, we won’t be able to help the people of tomorrow, either domestically or abroad. It’s about time we remembered our duty to mankind, and accept the truth that only the industry of free men can defeat hunger, poverty, and disease."

Read the whole thing.

America's Top 100 conservatives 60 - 41

Here's today's list - numbers 60 - 41.

The Governator is #55?  The Telegraph seems to succumb to the common fallacy that Republican = Conservative. Yesterday they had Olympia Snowe at #69.

Links to numbers 100 - 81, 80 - 61.

Economic Stimulus Funds Went to Climategate Scientist

Washington, DC - In the face of rising unemployment and record-breaking deficits, policy experts at the National Center for Public Policy Research are criticizing the Obama Administration for awarding a half million dollar grant from the economic stimulus package to Penn State Professor Michael Mann, a key figure in the Climategate controversy.
"It's outrageous that economic stimulus money is being used to support research conducted by Michael Mann at the very time he’s under investigation by Penn State and is one of the key figures in the international Climategate scandal."  

via Gateway Pundit, who has commentary and links.

Monday, January 11, 2010

America’s 100 most influential conservatives: #100-81.

" is presenting its second list of the 100 most influential conservatives and 100 most influential liberals in America a year after Barack Obama took the oath on the steps of the Capitol to become the 44th President of the United States.

The lists are divided into five with 20 people in each 'installment' and published over five successive days."

via Hot Air.

What Harry Reid Really Meant to Say...

An old school SNL skit that remains strangely relevant... 

Black Perspective with Garrett Morris

Garrett Morris: Good evening, and welcome to "Black Perspective". I'm your host, Garrett Morris. Tonight our guest is Mr. Julian Bond, and we'll be talking about the myths surrounding black I.Q. Specifically, the myth that whites are inherently more intelligent than blacks.

Julian Bond: Good evening, Garrett.

Garrett Morris: Now, Julian, perhaps you could explain something to me. In all these studies comparing black I.Q. to white I.Q., what kind of test is used to measure I.Q.'s in the first place?

Julian Bond: Well, this is the major problem with these studies. The measurements of I.Q. which form the basis of comparison come from tests composed by whites for whites. The tests are culturally biased; it's not surprising that whites would score better than blacks.

Garrett Morris: Could you give us an example of what you're talking about?

Julian Bond: Certainly. Here are some questions that have appeared on recent I.Q. tests. Number one: "You have been invited over for cocktails by the officer of your trust fund. Cocktails begin at 4:30, but you must make an appearance at a 6:00 formal dinner at the Yacht Club. What do you do about dress?
A. Wear your blue-striped seersucker suit to cocktails and change into your tuxedo in the bathroom, apologizing to your host for the inconvenience.
B. Wear your tuxedo to cocktails, apologizing to your host for wearing a dinner jacket before 6:00 PM.
C. Walk to the subway at Columbus Circle and take the "A" Train uptown."

Garrett Morris: Uh.. I guess I'd choose the last one.

Julian Bond: I'm sorry, that's incorrect.

Garrett Morris: Damn.

Julian Bond: Here's another: "When waxing your skis for a cross-country run, you should..."

Garrett Morris: [ interrupting ] Well, I think I understand the problem with the tests. But the fact is that people have been saying that white people are smarter than black for hundreds of years. We've only had I.Q. tests for 20 or 30 years. How did the idea of white intellectual superiority originate?

Julian Bond: That's an interesting point. My theory is that it's based on the fact that light-skinned blacks are smarter than dark-skinned blacks.

Garrett Morris: [ not sure he heard that right ] Say what?

Julian Bond: I said I think it might have grown out of the observation that light-skinned blacks are smarter than dark-skinned blacks.

Garrett Morris: I don't get it.

Julian Bond: It's got nothing to do with having white blood. It's just that descendants of the lighter-skinned African tribes are more intelligent than the descendants of the darker-skinned tribes. Everybody knows that.

Garrett Morris: This is the first time I've heard of it.

Julian Bond: Seriously? It was proven a long time ago.

Garrett Morris: Well, I still don't quite understand. We're out of time right now, but perhaps you could come back on the show again and explain it further.

Julian Bond: There's very little to explain - it's just like I told you.

Garrett Morris: Well, we are out of time. Good night. [ to Julian ] If you could repeat it just once more... 

The science is settled, as they say... :)

The Ultimate Shell Game: The Federal Reserve Funds The US Deficit

At Zero Hedge: In the current hodge podge of abstract finance, it is easy to get lost in the numbers and lose sight of the forest for the trees. Which is why we provide the ultimate simplification: In calendar (not fiscal) 2009, the US grew its budget deficit by $1.47 trillion. In the same time, the Federal Reserve grew its securities holdings from $500 billion to $1.85 trillion, a $1.34 trillion increase. Keeping it simple: 91% of the budget deficit increase in 2009, under the authority of President Obama, was funded by the... United States.

Those Old Racist Democrats

IMAO has a great roundup of the Harry Reid "negro dialect" drama. It's funny because it's true. :)

So is the Democratic Party full of creepy old racists? That’s what the evidence points to. Already creepy Harry Reid apparently approved of Barack Obama because he’s “light-skinned” and doesn’t speak “Negro dialect”; you know, he’s not one of “those” black people. In the Democrats’ minds, there are certain groups of minorities who the Democrats think should just be thankful they have Democrats giving lip-service to them, but they shouldn’t ever try to lead. It seems pretty condescending, but it is how Democrats have firmed up their base for some time now.

Of course, the Democrats have all rallied behind Harry Reid because without condescending racism, there really isn’t a Democratic Party. Obama even defended Reid, saying, “I know exactly what black people Reid was talking about, and we certainly would never run one of them as a candidate for president. Senator Byrd would have a heart attack.” And Nancy Pelosi added, “This controversy is ridiculous. And, frankly, I think Obama is too dark-skinned, but whatcha gonna do.” The DNC also stated that their black members were okay with it, “though it’s hard to know exactly what they’re saying with their slang and the loud rap music they’re always playing.”

According to Ted Kennedy (who murdered a woman), Bill Clinton also apparently said about Obama: “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.” I’ll give Clinton the benefit of the doubt, though, and assume he was talking about Obama’s inexperience and not his race. And no one he’s raped ever mentioned him saying anything racist.

Murders, rapists, and racists — the Democratic leadership could use some work. But the Republicans tend to allow a lot of spending on pork, and that’s bad too.

Venezuelans filled shopping malls this weekend after Chávez devalued currency.

WSJ:  "President Hugo Chávez's decision to devalue Venezuela's bolivar and impose a complicated new currency regime may paper over some growing cracks in the economy, but it is also setting the stage for bigger problems down the road for the country's oil-rich nation and its populist leader.

Over the weekend, there were signs that Mr. Chávez's slashing of the "strong bolivar" currency could create as many problems as it solves in Venezuela's economy, provoking a wave of anxiety that sent Venezuelans scurrying to spend cash they feared could soon be worthless."

Headline of the day

Skywalkers in Korea Cross Han Solo. 

The Harms of Homeschooling

Robin L. West, of the University of MD, has written a piece viciously critical of homeschooling. I don't mind a free-ranging discussion, but this woman is out of her mind. It really is unbelievable. She argues that homeschooling is completely outside the mainstream, and I'm sure that it seems so to her. If you read the whole thing, you'll see that her ideas are so far out there, normal people must seem to be from another galaxy. Such is the kind of thing we can expect from the liberal denizens of "tolerence". Read the whole thing.

A small excerpt:

The explosion in homeschooling of the last quarter
century, however, is a different phenomenon altogether.
The majority of homeschoolers today, and by
quite a margin, are devout, fundamentalist Protestants.
And, of the hundreds of thousands of fundamentalist
Protestant parents who in the past two decades have
pulled their children from public schooling, the majority
have done so not because their kids have special
needs, or because they live too far from a schoolhouse,
but rather because they do not approve of the public
schools’ secularity, their liberalism, their humanism,
their feminist modes of socialization, and in some cases,
of the schools’ very existence. Because they disapprove,
they choose to educate their children at home, in accordance
with their own traditions and by their own religious

First, the idea that most homeschoolers are fundamentalist Protestants is laughable. As a homeschool parent myself, most of the homeschool families I know aren't all that religious at all. This is a straw man argument to which homeschooling critics resort time and again. The early homeschool movement (which the author is unable to mention without using scare quotes) was certainly heavily fundamentalist Christian, but many studies have shown this to no longer be the case. My homeschool groups run the gamut from strict Catholics to far-left hippie non-conformists. The only thing most of the moms have in common is a desire to help our children become the best they can be, something unlikely to happen in today's over-burdened public school system. And God forbid that parents be able to educate their children as they see fit if they disagree with the politically liberal, militantly secular worldview pushed on their kids in the public system. The horror!

There are many other examples of West's insanity throughout the paper, including an assertion that education is the most important responsibility of the federal government. If that doesn't make your skin crawl, it should at least offend your sense of basic civics. Does this kook really think that education, which isn't mentioned in the constitution and didn't become compulsory until the last century, is the core thing our government should be doing? How about providing for the common defense and regulating interstate commerce? Ringing a bell? She also laments that there isn't any politically viable way to recriminilize homeschooling. This woman's ideas are dangerous and completely risable. It scares me that in this day and age, when homeschooling has proven a legitimate and exceedingly successful method of education, that people still hold these kinds of ideas. Sheesh.

Is helicopter parenting going out of style?

"But the parenting pendulum has already begun to swing the other way.

The tipping point, I believe, occurred in 2008, when syndicated columnist Lenore Skenazy wrote a piece about letting her 9-year-old son navigate the New York City subway alone.

The column initially set off a firestorm of criticism, and she was dubbed “America’s worst mom.” But 20 months later, Skenazy now heads up a movement that is the antithesis to helicopter parenting"

Ant Has Given Up Sex Completely, Researchers Confirm

The complete asexuality of a widespread fungus-gardening ant, the only ant species in the world known to have dispensed with males entirely, has been confirmed by a team of Texas and Brazilian researchers.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

JWF - Neanderthals: The Original Metrosexuals

British archaeologists have unearthed evidence that Neanderthals wore makeup 50,000 years ago.

Headline of the day

"Midwest City man uses buttocks to smash ex's 72-inch TV."

Explanation for record cold - catastrophic puncturing of our planet’s thermosphere

Russian scientists are reporting to Prime Minister Putin today that the high-energy beam fired into the upper heavens from the United States High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) radar facility in Ramfjordmoen, Norway this past month has resulted in a “catastrophic puncturing” of our Plant’s thermosphere thus allowing into the troposphere an “unimpeded thermal  inversion” of the exosphere, which is the outermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere.

Cultural differences

Steyn - But We’re Still Gonna Kill You

A must-read, as always.  

"For two weeks, the government of the United States has made itself a global laughingstock. Don’t worry, “the system worked,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Incompetano. Don’t worry, he was an “isolated extremist,” said the president. Don’t worry, we’re banning bathroom breaks for the last hour of the flight, said the TSA. Don’t worry, “U.S. border-security officials” told the Los Angeles Times, we knew he was on the plane and we “had decided to question him when he landed.” Don’t worry, Obama’s chief counterterrorism John Brennan assured the Sunday talk shows, sure, we read him his rights and he’s lawyered up but he’ll soon see that “there is advantage to talking to us in terms of plea agreements.”

How to Stop a Daybreakers-Style Vampire Epidemic

Popular Mechanics takes on the problem.